by Norma Poindexter

Imagine that you time transport back to the 18th century waking up on the Versailles Palace grounds, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, right outside the famous l’Orangerie and the Piece D’Eau des Suisses (ornamental pool built in 1682) while luxuriating in your late 1700’s bed complete with Marie Antoinette’s inspired choice of extraordinary fabrics.

That’s what you can now experience in the 21 st century at the newly opened Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, the first hotel ever allowed on Versailles Palace grounds, located in the previously abandoned Le Grand Contrôle, Le Petit Contrôle, and the Pavillon des premieres cent marches built in 1681 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Louis XIV’s architect. These three historic buildings served as a luxurious ducal residence at Versailles and are now painstakingly restored and recreated by the architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer. With every original interior detail meticulously brought back, including original wall panels, paintings, redesigned fabrics, and chandeliers, teams successfully searched the nation for authentic artifacts and period pieces to fill the hotel and its stunning, customized 14 rooms and suites.

Le Grand Contrôle brings you the glorious experiences that only the Le Grand Contrôle guests can access: private visits of the infamous, historic Hall of Mirrors in the evening; anytime complementary access to the extraordinary fruit gardens and the Swiss Lake, complete with your own golf carts and boats; private tours of locked Versailles rooms and gardens before and after the public enters the palace as well as Le Hameau de la Reine (the Queen’s Hamlet, a retreat where Marie Antoinette walked with her dearest friends) ; a dedicated butler; exclusive access to period costumes used for a photo shoot during the filming of “Versailles”; the luxurious Valmont Spa with an indoor pool ; and to top it off, renowned chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurant with afternoon teas dedicated to Marie Antoinette and extraordinary meals inspired by Louis XVI served under a sparkling 18th century chandelier

By the end of our stay, we felt like privileged French royalty that actually lived at Versailles Palace. And we didn’t even have to time transport.

Website | Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Photos Courtesy | Hotel Website